Dear Alley is our weekly advice column for pierced, inked, and amazing individuals (and everyone else too!) who might need a nudge in the right direction. Relationships, mods, or whatever, Alley's got you covered :).
Do you have a question for Alley, submit it to DearAlley@bodycandy.com for your chance to get featured!
Disclaimer: Body Candy is only here to give you fun and helpful advice and information when it comes to getting pierced. Always consult a professional piercer to make sure a new piercing is right for you!
Hi! My question is - what can I do if my septum piercing smells weird? Why can I only smell it if move it ?
Thank you so very much!
Alley: Hey Regina!
I'm gonna be real with you - piercings occasionally give off a smell. It's unpleasant to think about, but when oils from your skin mix with bacteria and dead skin cells, you get something that smells something like the bottom of a foot. When you move your piercing around through the fistula, you're dislodging that stuff that has been collecting around your jewelry - that's what you're smelling... It's gross, but it's true!
I'm assuming your septum is totally healed up... But if it's not, you should definitely not be spinning it around in your piercing. There is a chance you're simply moving it around too much. But on that note - are you practicing good aftercare? A sterile, salt-soak once a day can really do wonders for a piercing and it's hygiene. Good general hygiene is also very important!
I'm not a professional piercer - so if you're really worried, you should be checking in with yours! A bit of cheesy smell is to be expected, but if your nose starts getting red, chapped, flaky, starts to hurt, starts to smell even when you don't move it, or starts discharging colorful fluids... It's time to pay your pro an in-person visit!
I only have 11 piercings and my most recent is an industrial. I got it a few weeks ago, probably a month and there is nothing really wrong with it but one side is extremely swollen but not in a lot of pain... [should I be worried]?
P.S. I clean it twice a day with Saline solution and non iodized salt spray.
Alley: Hi Madison!
Only 11!? 11 is a great number of piercings to have! Glad to see you've embraced your role as a pierced/modded queen... Hopefully you're looking forward to more!
Onto your industrial - first and foremost, industrial piercings are cartilage piercings. Any sort of cartilage piercing is notoriously tough to heal up and will probably be a little bit finicky for at least a year. Since you got your industrial only a few weeks ago, this swelling/tenderness is pretty common. You'll probably experience this now and again throughout the course of your healing process.
I think its good you're practicing thorough aftercare - but too much cleaning can also have a negative effect on your piercing. I think twice a day is a reasonable amount, but you might even want to try a gentle salt soak only once a day. Sometimes too much poking and prodding at a healing piercing can keep it irritated.
Are you sleeping on your industrial piercing? Putting any unnecessary pressure on your piercing (this includes hats, hoods, headphones, headbands, hair) can have a negative effect on the healing process for sure. If you're a side sleeper, you can always try a donut pillow to keep your ear elevated while you sleep.
Quick reminder - I am not a piercer and my advice shouldn't be taken as such... But I personally think your ear is reacting normally at this point. If your industrial starts to gets "worse," i.e. turns especially red, gets really painful, starts to smell, or starts leaking drainage... It's time to visit your professional piercer!
I've had a dermal by eye/cheekbone and it got rejected I think because when I smiled it moved every time. So I always tell ANY friends/acquaintances who have any interest in face dermal to do it in a place that doesnt have any muscle movement when you smile. If I would have known this ahead of time I would have placed the dermal a half inch up to a place better suited.
But my question is, what can I do about the scar that I now have due to the rejected dermal? The dermal slowly started moving over and out so my scar is bigger than the actual piercing and its left a darker brown mark on my face. I would like to know what I can do to make this fade so it's not so noticeable. Thanks.
Alley: Hey Allison!
Sorry to hear about your dermal dilemma! Unfortunately, this kind of piercing is prone to rejection no matter where they are placed. Dermals are beautiful, but fragile - sometimes all it takes is a little bump to send them on their way.
Just like any wound, piercings leave scars. It's an unfortunate side effect of body modding and it's something you need to prepare yourself for before you head in for your appointment. That being said, I think you're always going to have a bit of a scar on your face... There's no perfect answer here - but there are a few little things you can try to help minimize the appearance of your scar.
1.) Vitamin E Oil - make sure you're rubbing the vitamin E oil into the scar itself and not taking an oral capsule. Vitamin E is very good for the skin and can certainly help your skin look healthier and the scar fade faster, although this will have varying results depending on each individual.
2.) Makeup - I know this isn't a perfect answer, but a bit of concealer matched to your skin tone can at least take the "dark spot" away from your dermal scar!
3.) Regular skin care routine - in addition to your vitamin E treatment, a regular routine of moisturizers, serums, and toners can really help bring life back into your skin.
Last but not least, remember that most piercing scars will fade with time! After a bit, your dermal scar will fade to a paler shade and will simply become a quirky part of your face. If it's any consolation, I have a few scars from my snake bite days... And I've grown to love them!